We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Edwards and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Stephanie, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I grew up on a farm in rural TN and my dad made sure that I EARNED every penny in my bank account. Conveniently there was plenty of work to go around. I’m not gonna lie, I hated the hard work, but the part that I did appreciate was that I put myself through college, paying my own way with zero debt. I didn’t make a fortune by any means, but it was enough. I could see my hard work directly improve my life, and I was hooked.

My family was very entrepreneurial, and that stuck with me. My parents were always on the lookout for ways to diversify farm income and try new things, bringing my two brothers and me along for the ride at first and then as teenagers letting us have say in business decisions.

While a farm is a lot of work and is very demanding, there is a lot of freedom and autonomy in owning your own business, and that made getting a traditional job challenging for me as I got older. I loved the flexibility of making my own schedule and always being able to do work that aligns with my values and goals.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?

I began doing freelance graphic design work in my mid-20’s and that led to an Etsy shop and entering the retail world. Those steps took me down a path of eventually beginning Jubilee Trading Co. Now I work with artisans in Morocco with the goal of giving my partners there the same gifts that small business ownership gave me: work that aligns with both my needs and desires.

I learned as a teenager how impactful it was for members of my community to purchase my farm produce. That impacted my shopping habits, as well as my business practices. My lived experience was that shopping with intention can impact lives: it directly paid my college tuition. Now I get to see the lives of my artisan partners directly improved by our business partnership, and that is so beautiful.

What is a unique struggle you’ve dealt with in growing your business?

Getting started was slow, but it was worth starting slow so that everything was done right. I was very pregnant with my second child when we began working together in 2019, so I had hoped to go to Morocco and meet the team in person in Spring of 2020… you can guess how that went. So after 2.5 years of building a brand together, I was finally able to go over and meet everyone in Nov. 2021! The unique challenges of growing a business during COVID.

What is something you’d like all of our readers to know about shopping small?

The big take-away I’d love for everyone to understand is how impactful your purchases are. Every dollar that you spend is a vote for the kind of world you want to live in. Choosing to shop with small businesses, especially purpose-driven brands, directly improves the lives of the people you shop with. The next time you make a purchase, pause. Consider who benefits from that transaction and try to choose the option that has the greatest impact. Shop with intention, change a life, and change the world.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
To me, Miami = Cuban food! I love to eat my weight in plantains with rice and beans.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Big shoutout to my parents!! They loved me through being a very moody teenager who begrudgingly went along with the family business as little as possible. I never would have dreamed as a kid how much their influence would shape me in adulthood.

Love to my husband who is so supportive and holds down the fort with our kids here while I travel.

I’m so thankful for the people who came before me who I could see as examples. “You can’t be what your can’t see,” so being able to watch other successful people paving the way with their businesses has been so instrumental. Female business owners are growing in number because of the ladies who did it when it wasn’t popular.

Website: https://jubileetradingco.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/JubileeTradingCo

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanie-edwards-9b4615113/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JubileeTradingCo

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f78IE59RtWk

Image Credits
Laklin Messer

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